The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Admiral James Stockdale has died.

Remember him? He was Ross Perot's running mate, and the butt of a classic Phil Hartman SNL sketch, but he was also a POW in the Vietnam War who went through an incredible torment to spare his fellow soldiers from similar torments.

Read more here.


  • If you have some time, read the transcript of the infamous debate. It's amazing how little Stockdale had to say. And Quayle's predictions turned out to be just a bit off:

    "Bill Clinton's economic plan and his agenda will make matters much, much worse -- he will raise your taxes, he will increase spending, he will make government bigger, jobs will be lost" Whoops.

    Perot initially put Stockdale down as his running mate on his petitions with a plan to choose someone else at a later time, but after he dropped out and then got back in, there was no time to get a new running mate on the ballots.

    By Blogger MDS, at 11:12 AM  

  • I'm just always surprised that we were picking between Al Gore and Dan Quayle. That's terrible. I mean, I really, really dislike Al Gore, but there is no way I could have voted for Dan Quayle, under any scenario. Of course, in 1992 I was only 15 years old, so I didn't have to decide anything, and I've always like Clinton, so I would have just ignored the veeps anyway.

    If memory serves Stockdale (who definitely wasn't all there) was also having hearing aid problems during the debate. It's too bad that that's how he will be remembered.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:19 AM  

  • Wait - Dan Quayle was wrong about something? Seriously though, was Stockdale's heroism discussed much, if at all during the campaign? Today was the first I learned of it, but I didn't follow Decision '92 all that closely. In fact, I remember more from the SNL skits about the election than I do the election itself. Was there an SNL skit that included Stockdale and Toonces the Driving Cat? I seem to remember one, but I can't figure how they would have gotten those two together in a skit.

    By Blogger dhodge, at 11:25 AM  

  • I don't remember a Stockdale/Toonces skit. You might be thinking of the time when Dana Carvey as Perot drove Phil Hartman as Stockdale into the woods to try to get rid of him so he wouldn't drag down the ticket.

    By Blogger MDS, at 11:48 AM  

  • I don't think it was. He was portrayed mainly as a doddering old man.

    The skit you're remembering, and conflating with Toonces, involved Dana Carvey as Perot driving Stockdale out to the countryside, like the old cliche about driving the dog out to the country and leaving him there (I'm sure this is from some old movie. It gets copied in loony tunes, on the Simpsons, everywhere really, but I don't know what movie).

    The whole trip Stockdale is randomly yelling out things like "GRIDLOCK!" and "WHO AM I".

    Finally, Perot drops him off and sppeds away, only to have Stockdale chase down his car and cling on for dear life. Perot eventually lets him back in, resigned to the fact that he is stuck with him.

    The short lived ABC and Fox show, The Critic" parodied the whole Stockdale incident when Jay Sherman's boss, the Ted Turner/Rupert Murdoch like Duke Phillips decides to run for president and he selects Jay's senile father (and former governor of New York) Franklin as his running mate.

    Franklin leads the VP debate with the following:

    "As the first black woman president of the KKK, I'd just like to say, America Sucks!"

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:52 AM  

  • Thanks for clearing that up and for the bonus reference to "The Critic". I used to watch the reruns on Comedy Central, but I don't think I've ever seen that episode.

    By Blogger dhodge, at 12:01 PM  

  • No problem, I was just watching the DVDs this weekend.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 12:15 PM  

  • I'm guessing that I speak for almost nobody, but I would have much preferred a choice between Gore and Quayle in '04 than a choice between GWB and Kerry.

    Quayle was totally unready for the vice presidency back in '88, but I've heard him since then and think he compares favorably to GWB (for those who disagree, I'd be curious to hear what GWB has over Quayle).

    And I would take Gore over Kerry in a heartbeat.

    By Blogger PRB, at 2:26 PM  

  • I agree with you Paul. Quayle has shaped up a bit since then (in the rare instances that I've heard him speak) and there is not a single thing that GWB has over Quayle.

    As for Gore and Kerry, I think it's a toss-up for me, but Gore was clearly the superior candidate.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:35 PM  

  • All four of those guys suck.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 2:39 PM  

  • As usual, Danny gets right to the heart of the matter.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:49 PM  

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